It’s no secret – substance abuse is overwhelming our nation. Residents of Owen County, Kentucky are almost 3 times more likely to die of a drug overdose than the rest of the United States (NORC Opioid Community Assessment, 2013 - 2017)
Most people know someone who is struggling with substance use disorder (SUD). Navigating the process of getting care can be intimidating and confusing, but Shanna Osborne is here to help
Shanna Osborne works as the Care Coordinator for Owen County as part of an HRSA-RCOP grant. Get to know Shanna and what she does through our interview below.
I'm originally from a hollow in Southeast Kentucky, so when my mother got a teaching job in Owen County when I was 5, we thought we were big city girls! I went to school for 12 years with the same group of 99 friends, most of whom I've kept up with. Everybody knows everybody; there is no such thing as privacy, but when one of us hurts, we all hurt. I've seen my town rally behind its neighbors, always willing to help someone in need. Owen County's motto is "Where Community Matters" and I believe that statement runs true.
I am blessed to have been trusted with the title of Owen County's first Care Coordinator because I get to help my neighbors. My job is to connect people with substance use disorder (SUD) to the resources they need like food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, education, transportation, peer support, treatment , or whatever the need may be. I will say that I thought I knew how bad things were in our community before entering this role, but the truth is I had no idea. I continue to be enlightened, blown away, shocked, and disheartened by what I can only describe as third world living conditions right under our noses. The need here is great.
Housing is the number one challenge for people seeking recovery in Owen County. People would be shocked to learn how big our homeless population is.
Another barrier is the lack of access to mental health services and medically assisted treatments. Triad is a true asset to our community, but they are in great need of a licensed clinical social worker to help with their caseload.
I envision a recovery community full of people who acknowledge that there is no "us" and "them.” There are only humans who struggle and suffer and need support and community.
I am now aware of the depth of the poverty, suffering, and lack of resources in Owen County. At the same time, I am in awe of the resiliency and compassion for those in recovery and people affected by SUD.
Please call or text me at (502) 514-1929 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If I don’t respond quickly enough, call the 24-hour hotline at 859-415-9280. We can help, and you are worth it!
Substance Use Disorder is a disease. None of us are immune to it and we are all affected by it. The cure lies in community support. I urge everyone to get involved.